Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric Dentistry Dental Services near Canandaigua, Victor & Geneva, NY

Pediatric Dentistry for Children, Canandaigua NY
What is pediatric dentistry? 
Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry that deals with infants, children and adolescents, including those patients with special care needs.
Do you have to be a pediatric dentist to treat children? 
No you don't. However, a pediatric dentist attends a post graduate program after dental school for two to three years to learn more about the specific needs of young dental patients.
Do I need to brush my children's teeth? 
Yes because children develop plaque just like adults do and it must be removed on a daily basis so it does not lead to tooth decay. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that will fit into the child's mouth at least once a day to begin with when they are very young and at least twice a day by the time most of the baby teeth have erupted.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time? 
You should schedule an appointment around the third birthday so that we can check for good oral hygiene, cavities and any developmental or congenital abnormalities.
If baby teeth eventually fall out, why are they important?
Baby teeth are very important because they serve many of the same purposes of adult teeth such as tearing and chewing food and helping the child speak properly. Additionally, they hold the place for adult teeth. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, an appliance called a space maintainer is needed to prevent the remaining teeth from shifting into the space of the lost tooth.
Young Girl, Pediatric Dentistry in Naples NY
How do thumb sucking and pacifier habits harm teeth?
There is not much difference between the two habits and they only become a problem if the baby teeth start to get displaced or if the habit continues after the adult teeth have erupted. 

Thumb-sucking
Thumb-sucking or finger-sucking is a habit that forms in many infants. Your child will usually give it up naturally by the age of four. If the sucking habit continues beyond the time when permanent teeth start to erupt, your child may develop crooked teeth and a malformed palate (roof of the mouth). This results from pressure applied by the thumb on the teeth and roof of the mouth. 
    The severity of the problem depends on frequency, intensity, duration and also the position in which the thumb is placed in the mouth. The relationship between the upper and lower jaws may also be affected. Speech defects can occur from misaligned teeth resulting from thumb-sucking and/or finger-sucking.
    • The best prevention is to get your newborn to take up the pacifier instead of thumb-sucking or finger-sucking. Although prolonged use of the pacifier can lead to similar problems, it is not attached to the child and can be more easily discouraged.
    • Children should be helped to give up the habit before they enter school to prevent teasing.
    • Timing of treatment is important. Your child should be willing to give up thumb-sucking or finger-sucking. If your child is not willing to stop, therapy is not usually indicated. Pressure to stop may only lead to resistance and lack of cooperation. Try again at a later time. 
    • Give your child attention and understanding and gently discourage the habit. Reminders such as a band-aid on the thumb can help.
    • Offer rewards (star on chart, dimes, extra story) for days when your child is successful. Praise your child when successful. 
    After daytime sucking is controlled:
    • Take one step at a time. Encourage your child not to suck during one daytime activity, like story time or television watching. Gradually add another activity until daytime sucking is controlled. 
    • Help your child to give up the sucking habit during sleep. This is usually an involuntary process and a glove, sock, or thumb/finger guard can help stop the habit.
    • If these considerations are not successful, let us know. By the time your child's permanent teeth begin to erupt (at around 6 years of age), it should be brought to our attention. We may suggest other options such as a reminder bar that is placed in the upper arch. 
    Pacifier Information
    For babies, sucking is very natural. It is how they nourish and soothe themselves. When a baby is not eating, the pacifier is better to use for soothing than a finger, thumb, or a toy. Pacifiers are less likely to cause a malocclusion and are usually discontinued at an earlier age than thumbsucking. It is easier to take away a pacifier than to discourage using a finger or thumb. Thumbsuckers typically continue the habit until 3-5 years of age.
      Thoughts on Pacifiers
      • If you notice your child beginning to suck their fingers or thumbs during the first 3 months of life, consider introducing your child to a pacifier.
      • To avoid any trauma to the gums, it's important to buy a pacifier with a nipple made of rubber
      • Do not use the pacifier around the clock, only when necessary
      • In rare instances, pacifiers may cause complications like abnormal swallowing patterns
      • Check the pacifier daily for breakage. They do not last forever and should be replaced when wear or damage is noticed. A damaged pacifier can cause choking.
      • Do not hang the pacifier around your baby's neck with a string. This practice is dangerous and can cause strangulation. 
      Choosing a Pacifier
      • Avoid improper breathing and abnormal molding of the baby's jaws by choosing a pacifier that resembles the natural nipple and breast.
      Pacifier use can cause abnormal development of the jaws and teeth. Some reasons are:
      • Improperly sized and shaped pacifier
      • Strength of sucking action
      • Length of time the pacifier is present within the mouth 
      Child Drinking Milk, Pediatric Dentistry in Geneva NY
      I did not give my baby candy but he still has decay. How did that happen?
      Decay is not only caused by candy; it can be caused by most foods or liquids other than water that do not get removed from the surface of teeth. Infants and children are at the mercy of their parents. If a toddler is continuously given a bottle with almost anything other than water at bedtime, they will probably develop baby bottle caries, which are cavities on the front teeth. Do not give a bottle with anything other than water at bedtime and get in the habit of brushing your child's teeth on a regular basis.
      Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

      Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, Baby Bottle Syndrome, and Nursing Bottle Mouth are all terms used to describe a dental condition which involves the rapid decay of many or all of the baby teeth of an infant or child.

      The teeth most likely to be damaged are the upper front teeth. They are some of the first teeth to erupt and thus have the longest exposure to sugars from bottle feeding. The lower front teeth tend to be protected by the tongue as the child sucks on the nipple of the bottle or the breast.

      Baby Bottle Tooth Decay is caused by frequent exposure to liquid containing sugars for extended periods of time.

      When your baby falls asleep with a bottle containing formula, milk or juice; a pacifier dipped in honey; or while breast feeding, liquids pool around the front teeth. During sleep, the bacteria present in all babies' mouths turns the milk sugar or other sugars to acids which cause decay.

      Parents may not know there is a problem until serious damage has been done. Oral checks should be performed by parents to detect early signs of decay such as brown spots along the gumline; a preference for soft foods; frowning or crying when eating cold, sweet, or hard foods. If these symptoms are present, the child should be seen by a dentist to check for tooth decay.

      By the time decay is noticed, crowns, pulp therapy, or even extraction of the decayed teeth may be necessary. As a result, your child may suffer from long term disorders which include speech impediments, possible psychological damage, crooked or crowded teeth, and poor oral health. You can prevent this from happening to your child's teeth by learning how to protect them.
      • Clean your child's teeth daily.
      • Never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle filled with juice, milk, or formula (or when awake, sip on it for long periods of time as a pacifier).
      • Start bottle weaning by at least a year.
      • Give your child plain water for thirst.
      • Make sure your child gets the fluoride needed to prevent decay.
      • Schedule regular dental visits for your child beginning when their first tooth erupts.
      TIP:  Cut back on sugary bottles by gradually watering them down until they are only water. Most children begin life with strong, healthy teeth. Help your child's teeth stay that way. Your newborn is totally dependent upon you as a parent. The decisions you make will have a vital effect on your child's dental future.
      How often do children need to visit the dentist?
      Children should visit a dentist every six months. We like to catch anything when it is small and seeing the child every six months gives us the best chance to keep an eye out for any signs of early decay. Additionally, since teeth start coming and going, we like to have a history of each patient's dental development.
      Is toothpaste good or bad for children?
      Fluoridated toothpaste should not be used for children under age 2. After that time, parents should be in charge of dispensing the toothpaste and the amount to be used each time should not be bigger than the size of a pea. Make sure the children spit the toothpaste out instead of swallowing it. It is not dangerous if they swallow it once or twice but do not let it become a habit.
      Should baby teeth be sealed?
      Baby teeth should be sealed if they have deep pits and fissures that may be prone to decay without a sealant. Read more about sealants.
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